What is a portfolio career? (Benefits + How-To)

A portfolio career means having more than one job or source of income at the same time. Instead of having just one full-time job, people with a portfolio career might do freelance work, part-time jobs, consulting, or start their own businesses. It's like having a collection of different jobs and projects that together make up their career. This way, they can have more variety, flexibility, and opportunities to explore different interests while earning a living.

A portfolio career offers several benefits, including:

Diversified income:

By pursuing multiple income streams simultaneously, people with a portfolio career can mitigate the risks associated with relying solely on one source of income. This diversification can provide greater financial stability and security.

Flexibility and autonomy:

Portfolio careers offer individuals the freedom to choose their projects, set their schedules, and determine their work environment. This flexibility allows for better work-life balance and the ability to accommodate personal commitments and interests.

Variety and stimulation:

Engaging in diverse projects and roles can prevent boredom at work and burnout by providing constant stimulation and new challenges. Portfolio careers allow individuals to explore different industries, work with various clients, and develop new skills.

Professional growth and development:

With exposure to different projects and industries, individuals in portfolio careers have opportunities for continuous learning and skill development. They can expand their expertise, broaden their networks, and gain valuable experience across multiple domains.

Creative expression and fulfilment:

Portfolio careers enable individuals to pursue their passions and interests across various areas. They have the freedom to create a career path that aligns with their values, strengths, and personal goals, leading to a greater sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.

Entrepreneurial opportunities:

Portfolio careers often involve elements of entrepreneurship, such as freelancing, consulting, or starting small businesses. This entrepreneurial mindset fosters innovation, initiative, and the potential for financial success.

Networking and collaboration:

Engaging in multiple projects and roles provides opportunities to build diverse professional networks and collaborate with individuals from different backgrounds and industries. These connections can lead to new opportunities, partnerships, and mentorship relationships.

Overall, a portfolio career offers individuals greater autonomy, flexibility, and variety in their professional lives, empowering them to design a career that reflects their unique interests, skills, and aspirations.

How to build a portfolio career.

1. Identify your skills and interests:

Begin by understanding what you're good at and what you enjoy doing. Make a list of your skills, experiences, and interests.

2. Explore different opportunities:

Look for various opportunities that align with your skills and interests. These could include freelance work, part-time jobs, consulting gigs, starting a side business, or pursuing passion projects.

3. Network and make connections:

Networking is crucial for finding opportunities and building relationships in different industries and sectors. Attend networking events, connect with professionals online, and reach out to people in your field of interest.

4. Develop your brand:

Define your personal brand and what sets you apart from others. Create a professional online presence through platforms like LinkedIn, personal websites, or portfolios showcasing your work.

5. Outreach and marketing:

Develop a targeted outreach strategy to connect with potential clients directly. Craft personalised emails, messages, or pitches highlighting your skills, experience, and how you can help address their specific needs or challenges. Tailor your approach to each client and demonstrate genuine interest in their business.

6. Offer value and solutions:

Focus on providing value to potential clients by understanding their pain points and offering solutions that align with their goals. Position yourself as a problem solver and emphasise the benefits of working with you.

7. Seek referrals and recommendations:

Ask satisfied clients, colleagues, and mentors for referrals and recommendations. Word-of-mouth recommendations can be powerful in attracting new clients and building trust.

8. Provide excellent service:

Once you've secured clients and projects, prioritize delivering high-quality work and exceeding expectations. Building a reputation for reliability, professionalism, and excellence can lead to repeat business in the future.

By following these steps and remaining flexible and proactive, you can build a portfolio career that aligns with your interests, skills, and goals. Thanks for reading!

packed suitcase
Join our online career coaching programme!

Our career coaching programme will help you solve your career dilemmas, and make the right next move. Join today to get module 1 free of charge.

  • Get access to our tailored online programme.

  • No payment details required.

Start free, upgrade later